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Thread: Printer Advice: Epson 3880 vs. P800

  1. #1

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    Printer Advice: Epson 3880 vs. P800

    I am going to pull the trigger on a digital printer in the next 30-60 days and am trying to decide between a refurbished Epson 3880 and an Epson P800. There are lots of people who recommend the older 3880, mostly because of the availability of Piezography Pro inks. I will be using it, at least initially, for B&W prints and inter-negatives for alternative processes, but over time surely for color prints. Any advice would be welcome.

  2. #2
    LF/ULF Carbon Printer Jim Fitzgerald's Avatar
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    Re: Printer Advice: Epson 3880 vs. P800

    I have a friend who had the P800 and it left wheel marks on the film for negatives. Prints were fine. Just my .02. I have a 3800 and it works fine for both negatives and prints.

  3. #3
    Dave Karp
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    Re: Printer Advice: Epson 3880 vs. P800

    I recently purchased a used 3880 from a forum member. It is a nice printer, at least as far as I can tell. I am learning my way around it. From my research, it appears Epson has been trying to make it harder on the third party ink companies (like Jon Cone's company) to work with the new printers. I don't know if there is a solution, but we know that you can use his and other inksets and cartridges on the 3880 of that is what you may want to do eventually.

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    Re: Printer Advice: Epson 3880 vs. P800

    I recently purchased a P800 when my 3880 died. I can't speak to its use for alt-process internegatives, but I can confirm that the new inkset does produce richer dark tones when printing monochrome on matte papers. I've not discerned any consistent difference on glossy papers.

    Also, FWIW, Aardenburg's tests show materially improved image stability with the new inkset for the P-series.

    If I had to choose again I'd go for the P800 without hesitation. If it helps, Epson has just launched another round of rebates on the P-series printers.

  5. #5
    Dave Karp
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    Re: Printer Advice: Epson 3880 vs. P800

    I don't know if this will have an impact on your decision, but Cone just announced an HD black ink for matte and a new photo black. http://shop.inkjetmall.com/About/Abo...ensity-Blacks/ He claims that they can give you deeper blacks than the OEM inks. I have not tried these yet, but I am investigating. One claimed advantage is that you don't have to go to the new printers to get the advantage of the new inkset. I wonder if anyone on the forum has tried it. The link also talks about how third party carts for the P series printers have been locked out in N. America (but not elsewhere).

  6. #6

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    Re: Printer Advice: Epson 3880 vs. P800

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Fitzgerald View Post
    I have a friend who had the P800 and it left wheel marks on the film for negatives. Prints were fine. Just my .02. I have a 3800 and it works fine for both negatives and prints.
    All of the Epson consumer type printers that use the star wheel to guide media are capable of making star wheel marks, depending on how they are adjusted, amount of ink put down, speed of printing, etc. That includes the 1400, 1430, 1800, 2000, 2400, 2200, 2880, 3800, 3880, 4000, 4800, and 4880. I am pretty sure you can count on the star wheel marks with the newer line of P400, P600 and P800 models because they too use star wheels to guide the media. If you own one of these printers and don't get the marks consider yourself extremely lucky, and don't count on your luck to last forever because the problem gets worse with use.

    The only way to avoid the marks is to either remove the star wheels, or somehow disengage them. There are remedies all over the net for doing this depending on the printer. It is real easy to do with the 4800/4880 because all you have to do is manually lift the ejection bar and doing so prevents the star wheels from touching the media. The other remedy is to get one of the 78** or larger printers (7800, 7880, 9800, 9880 etc.) that use suction to hold the media down and guide it. I replaced a 3880 with a 7800 several years ago for printing digital negatives and it was without question one of the best decisions I have ever made. Better build by far, no star wheel marks, and easier to use third part refillable cartridges than with the 3800/3880 series since the chips are easy to reset.

    To be fair, pizza wheel marks are normally only seen with glossy media and overhead clear film of the type we use for digital negatives. With matte papers you should not every experiences star marks.

    Sandy
    Last edited by sanking; 14-Jan-2017 at 20:29.
    http://www.sandykingphotography.com/
    For discussion and information about carbon transfer please visit the carbon group at Yahoo.
    https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/...nTransfer/info

  7. #7

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    Re: Printer Advice: Epson 3880 vs. P800

    Quote Originally Posted by sanking View Post
    All of the Epson consumer type printers that use the star wheel to guide media are capable of making star wheel marks, depending on how they are adjusted, amount of ink put down, speed of printing, etc. That includes the 1400, 1430, 1800, 2000, 2400, 2200, 2880, 3800, 3880, 4000, 4800, and 4880. I am pretty sure you can count on the star wheel marks with the newer line of P400, P600 and P800 models because they too use star wheels to guide the media. If you own one of these printers and don't get the marks consider yourself extremely lucky, and don't count on your luck to last forever because the problem gets worse with use.

    The only way to avoid the marks is to either remove the star wheels, or somehow disengage them. There are remedies all over the net for doing this depending on the printer. It is real easy to do with the 4800/4880 because all you have to do is manually lift the ejection bar and doing so prevents the star wheels from touching the media. The other remedy is to get one of the 78** or larger printers (7800, 7880, 9800, 9880 etc.) that use suction to hold the media down and guide it. I replaced a 3880 with a 7800 several years ago for printing digital negatives and it was without question one of the best decisions I have ever made. Better build by far, no star wheel marks, and easier to use third part refillable cartridges than with the 3800/3880 series since the chips are easy to reset.

    To be fair, pizza wheel marks are normally only seen with glossy media and overhead clear film of the type we use for digital negatives. With matte papers you should not every experiences star marks.

    Sandy
    For those printing with the Epson 3800/3880 our good friend Keith Schreiber has posted this article about how to eliminate the problem:

    https://jkschreiber.wordpress.com/20...an-epson-3880/

    Regards,

    Don Bryant

  8. #8

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    Re: Printer Advice: Epson 3880 vs. P800

    Well, it seems the US version of the P800 has chip restrictions so you can't use third party inks, which excludes the ink offerings from John Cone. Then there is the 90 day warranty on the refurbished 3880. Anyone compare print quality of the 3880/P800 with the 1430?

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